Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Lukashenka explains motives for dismissal of KGB head

Vadzim Zaytsaw was removed from the position of head of the Committee for State Security (KGB) because of an "unhealthy moral and psychological atmosphere in certain KGB units," Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Monday while introducing newly appointed KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchyk to the security agency's leadership.

The Belarusian leader criticized Mr. Zaytsaw for "shortcomings" in the organization of personnel management and ideological education and internal security flaws, according to the government's news agency BelTA.

Mr. Lukashenka said that he had ordered the KGB's personnel management policy revamped earlier this year. "However, to my regret, proper conclusions were not drawn. Moreover, some problems have even worsened," he said.

He referred to the recent suicide of Alyaksandr Kazak, head of an inter-district office of the KGB Directorate for Minsk and the Minsk Region.

"Of course, I had to pay attention to the situation and take serious measures. First the head of the KGB's Internal Security Directorate was fired and then the chairman was dismissed," he was quoted as saying.

Mr. Lukashenka said that Mr. Zaytsaw may have been unfit for the job of KGB chairman but defended his attitude to work and said that the official would not be left without a job or "forced out of the country."

He warned that the new chairman was "not a kind guy whom someone may have expected here" and stressed that Mr. Vakulchyk "is one of the few who know for sure what the president wants from the KGB."

The main principles of Mr. Vakulchyk's work ethic are "objectivity, competence and loyalty to the state," Mr. Lukashenka said, adding that the official did not accept "inactivity and wordiness."

"I hope very much that this new person will make together with you a security service meeting present-day requirements," he was quoted as saying.

Mr. Lukashenka suggested that the KGB should not be afraid to fire officers who have no zeal for their job.